It’s times like this I’m glad I’m reading these comics in order of continuity, not in order of publication.
After Infinite Crisis, Mistah J tells me the comics jump forward a year. To know what happened in the interim, you had to buy 52, a weekly series that filled in that missing year in real time. Reading this week by week must have been excruciating, especially because you were reading other comics concurrently and trying to piece it all together. I’m grateful to be reading the entire 52 run first, allowing me to ease into all of the changes slowly.
And changes there are. 52 is less a single storyline and more a collection of vignettes that loosely tie together. There are so many characters at the forefront of this comic that it would be incredibly difficult to summarize in any sort of cohesive manner. So rather than even attempt that, I’m going to just compile a list of some of the prolific changes seen within the first 13 issues of the series:
- John Henry Irons is slowly becoming Steel. After Luthor got his dirty mitts on him, Steel’s body is morphing into stainless steel, and as of now there’s no cure in sight. Meanwhile, he and his niece Natasha are at odds. John doesn’t believe Natasha has earned the right to wear her Steel suit, and Natasha thinks John doesn’t understand how important it all is. It’s typical parent/child miscommunication, but it’s handled really well in the story.
2. Renee Montoya, having resigned as a GCPD officer, finds herself thrown into an investigation with The Question, an enigmatic and mysterious creature whom I haven’t come across for quite some time (buy yay me for recognizing him!)
Bonus: Montoya/Question banter is awesome and I just want to read it all the time.
3. Booster Gold is being his typical self-centered, obnoxious self, and is trying to use facts from the future to become Earth’s most popular hero. Skeets’ memory banks are proving inaccurate though, as time and again what he reports doesn’t end up happening as it’s supposed to. Booster gets angry, throws some temper tantrums, and winds up disgraced in front of millions. So…basically not much has changed with him.
4.Black Adam is consolidating the world’s meta-humans, claiming it’s to protect his homeland. It’s more likely that he’s building a team to go up against the US. When a rescued woman challenges him, he decides to grant her meta-human powers of her own, transforming her into the new hero Isis.
Luckily, Isis is less murderous than Black Adam, so she’s actually proving to be a positive influence on him.
5. Clark Kent is trying to adjust to life without his powers, and spends his time working at his reporter skills. Perry White is less than impressed, as it seems much of Clark’s writing skill came from the insider knowledge he got from being Superman. Undeterred, Clark Kent literally throws himself out of a window for a story, hoping that the new hero in town, Supernova, will catch him and grant him an interview. (No wonder he and Lois are married. Soulmates, I tell ya.)
6. Animal Man, Adam Strange, and Kory are all trapped on a far-distant planet together, after Adam’s Zeta Beam dropped them off far from Earth. Adam tries to repair his ship while Kory eats fruit from the planet and begins acting a bit strangely (how can they tell?)
7. Finding it difficult to adjust to life without Conner, Cassie joins a cult-like group that promises it can bring Conner back from the dead. They want to practice first, and decide to use Sue Dibny as their test subject. Vandalizing her grave and stealing Ralph Dibny’s wedding ring, they convince Ralph to join them, but it turns out to be a trap. Unfortunately, it looks like the cult’s magic may have at least worked partially, as a reanimated straw version of Sue seems to be brought back to life briefly.
And now poor Raph seems completely off his rocker, as we see him clutching the charred remains of fake-Sue under a bridge, vowing to try again.
8. BATWOMAN! BATWOMAN! WE HAVE BATWOMAN!! (Can you tell I’m excited for this part?)
Kate Kane is revealed as Batwoman after Montoya goes to her for help, and we also learn of a tumultuous relationship between the pair nearly a decade prior. We haven’t seen her in action very much at this point, but I’m just excited to know she’s there, waiting to jump in at the right time.
That doesn’t nearly cover everything that happens in this book, but when stories are happening so rapidly and concurrently, it’s difficult to sum them all up in one post. There are so many changes happening in this world, and without our core three characters, it was interesting to see how the world survives. Truth be told, I thought there might be a little more mayhem without Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman around, but it turns out there are plenty of heroes, old and new, who are willing to answer the call in their stead. These stories are engaging from the start, and with plenty more weeks still to go, I can only imagine what all will come to pass.